FOR Stunning clarity and precision; exciting timing AGAINST Rivals offer subtler dynamics; can be too insistent
Nearly every person in the office thinks this pair of £2500 standmounters looks lovely and sounds astounding. They're part of PMC’S Twenty5 range, which celebrates the company’s 25th anniversary. Almost every aspect of them has been changed from the popular Twenty series, which continues as the entry-level range.
Formula One speakers
While we’re inundated with plenty of smart-looking speakers, the PMC Twenty5.22s are just cool. Maybe it’s the glint of metal surrounding the mid/bass driver or the mirrored panel at the back, with new single-wired terminals that are satisfying to plug into.
Or maybe it’s the vent on the front panel that looks like something borrowed from a Formula One car. In fact, it is. PMC looked to F1 for inspiration on aerodynamics and applied it to the Twenty5 range.
Called Laminair, the vented port works alongside PMC’S signature ATL (advanced transmission line) technology. ATL is essentially an alternative reflex port. It forces the backwards energy of the mid/ bass driver through a damped pathway within the speaker and out of the front port, absorbing all but the lowest frequencies as it does so. As this low-end energy leaves the front port, it reinforces the driver’s forward output, resulting in more powerful bass. It’s PMC’S crowning glory.
Technology that works
Laminair is the jewel in that crown. It streamlines the effect of the ATL, smoothing the airflow and ironing out the mini turbulences that occur as the air leaves the port. The result? A cleaner, more efficient airflow that gives you taut bass and better timing.
Also new is the cone of the mid/bass driver, now a stiffer glass fibre and pulp hybrid material called g-weave, while the magnet and motor system has been made 80 per cent more powerful than that of the Twenty.22. The dome tweeter’s metal grille has been tweaked to help disperse sound better and the speaker dimensions have been subtly adjusted.
Thanks to these improvments, the PMC Twenty5.22 speakers are enjoyable right from the start. Their enthusiastic and speedy character comes across immediately. Wyclef Jean’s Thug Angels depends on a strong bassline and insistent beat, and the PMCS charge through the song without losing breath, a tightly controlled and precise delivery. There’s depth and texture to the bassline but, more impressively, its shape is defined in a way we’ve never heard before at this price.
Hans Zimmer’s Coward from Interstellar fully shows off the PMCS’ talents. The metronomic ticking is crisp and snappy, there’s a sense of build up and the treble has just enough shine to keep you on edge. It’s that low, pulsing heartbeat that captivates us, though. Its edges are stunningly defined.
What strikes us most is how remarkably clean the sound is. Each note is pristine. You can almost see the shape of every instrumental strand – the outline of the rough, springy bass strings, the taut twang of the guitar, the smack of the drum hits, the nuanced vocals.
Calm down, dear
Compared with the ATC SCM19S – the class leaders at this price – the PMCS have superb timing, clarity and definition. But that fast and exciting character can be a touch too much at times.
That heartbeat in Interstellar? The PMCS get the precise shape of the notes across but the ATCS actually make them sound scary.
You can add more heft to the PMCS by a bit of careful system matching. We’d recommend something bold and meaty such as the Roksan Caspian M2 amplifier. On the plus side, the Twenty5.22s are refreshingly unfussy when it comes to positioning, although making some space around them helps.
It’s not entirely fair to compare the PMCS with the ATCS but we find the latter a more comfortable, emotive listen. That doesn’t take away from how enjoyable the PMCS are, though. If we could fuse the two, we'd be the perfect pair of speakers.
Even so, we can’t deny how much fun we had with the PMC Twenty5.22s. They’re superb speakers for the money, and we urge you to give them a listen.
PMCS look cool with their F1inspired lower 'Laminair' port
Attention to detail continues on the back of the PMC speakers